The story of the healing of the woman with a hemorrhage is truly remarkable in its simplicity and spectacular results. It is important to remember that the Jews would have considered this woman unclean as she had a bleeding problem. This means that if she were to touch anyone they too would be unclean! Yet we do not see any concern in the reaction of Jesus along this line of thought. It seems to me that for Jesus there are far more important principles at stake than some sort of ritual understanding of being ‘clean’ or ‘unclean.’

This is indeed the case. Jesus is concerned only for the healing of the woman and her level of faith. It is the latter that I find remarkable. She desires only to touch the cloak of Jesus and she believes that that will be enough to bring her healing. I can reflect for hours on the depth of her faith and still not exhaust its inspiration. The depth of her faith seems to almost mesmerize Jesus and force Him to heal her. I get the sense that Jesus is truly amazed at the level of her faith, that is, He has seldom if ever encountered faith as deep as this woman’s faith.

When we compare this woman’s faith with the doubts expressed by Thomas after the resurrection or the fear that caused the disciples to flee at the crucifixion, or the disciples’ inability to cast out some evil spirits from time to time, we are all the more amazed. This woman has not had the benefit of the constant formation that the disciples have received. If she has been sick with this disease for the past twelve years then we can safely assume that she would have been marginalized both in terms of secular and religious society. Where then does her faith have its origins? All we are left with as an answer is the grace of the Holy Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit who begins the work of faith in us all, disposing us towards belief in Christ so that we will one day make the step of entrusting our lives to God. It is the Holy Spirit working from within us that enables the grace of God to gift us with faith. This gift will come alive and be empowered if we surrender ourselves to it and let the Holy Spirit do the things necessary to drive away any fear and doubts and open us up fully to the love of God.

Do I ever doubt in the love or power of God to change my life for the better? Do I dispose my mind and heart towards believing in God or do I tend to be skeptical and unbelieving?

Lord, I believe but help me to overcome the areas of unbelief in my heart. Lord, there are times that I doubt but not because I want to doubt but because I am weak. Help me to overcome my weaknesses through the gifts and graces that the Holy Spirit offers to me.